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The Independent Online
Legal observers monitoring an anti-road protest in Brighton over the weekend have criticised the police for their "heavy-handed" tactics. Violence erupted when police foiled the protesters from the Reclaim the Streets pressure group by seizing sound equipment and scaffolding. Officers in riot gear arrested 80 people - including two of the observers - and 49 now face charges.

Colin Chalmers, of the Brighton Legal Defence and Monitoring Group, an organisation set up to advise demonstrators, said he was appalled at the tactics. "We are there to help people who get arrested. I don't know why they arrested us. They said it was on charges of conspiracy to cause a nuisance and obstruct the highway. Their actions were totally heavy-handed." A spokesman for Sussex police was not available for comment.

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